Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife Review

Jake Hoback knives has a history that proves how much this company actually loves knives. Jake Hoback, the founder of this knife company, first started making knives in 1990, in his back yard. He would pound out the knives on a huge chunk of steel with a hammer and fence post nails. After that, he and his best friend got a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop. It was then that he was completely hooked. Finally, in 2003, he began professionally making knives. His most popular knife is the Kwaiback knife, so recently, Jake Hoback Knives has released a couple of new versions. One of these is the Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is carved out of CPM-20CV steel. This steel is produced by Crucible and considered to be a super steel. This steel is a Powder Metallurgy tool steel, which means that you will get a combination of wear resistance and edge retention. Not only that, but because the steel has such high levels of chromium, the steel is going to be much more resistant to corrosion. This steel requires very little maintenance to keep its good qualities and great edge. Unfortunately, this steel is pretty difficult to sharpen, so a beginner is not going to be able to sharpen this well. In fact, you will probably want the help of a professional sharpener.

The finish on this blade is an acid stonewash finish. A stonewash finish is when the manufacturer tumbles the blade around in an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. An acid stonewash finish is when the steel undergoes an acid treatment that works to darken the steel before the steel undergoes the stonewashing process. The acid oxidation actually will enhance the steels rust resistance because it places a stable oxide barrier between the steel and the environment. The stonewash finish hides scratches very well. Another benefit of the stonewash finish is that they are low maintenance and they maintain their original look for long periods of time. This acid stonewash finish creates a very rugged, textured, almost mottled look on the blade. The resulting color of the blade has a matte gray look to it.

The 20CV steel has been carved into a tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape was inspired by the Japanese Samurai swords. In the 1980’s, Cold Steel revolutionized this steel and made the American Tanto blade shape a popular blade shape. While many of the blade shapes are all-purpose, versatile, and can perform a variety of different tasks, the tanto blade shape specializes in only one task. The Japanese Samurai sword shape was designed to pierce armor, and the tanto blade shape is still made for piercing through hard and tough materials. The tanto blade shape has a high point with a flat grind. Because of this, it has a very strong tip. The strength behind the tip is what allows it to pierce through the hard and tough materials. Because there is a lot of metal towards the tip of the blade, the tip can absorb the impact from repeated stabbing. This repeated stabbing would cause most blade shapes to snap. Not only does the strong tip allow for piercing through hard materials and repeated piercing, but it also allows the user to o untraditional tasks with this knife. You can hammer, pry, and even dig with this knife if needed. That is why the tanto blade shape, and this specific knife, is such a great option for your survival and tactical scenarios. The sharpened edge of the tanto blade shape meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, instead of the traditional curve. Because of the lack of curve, there is no belly to this knife. The lack of belly is one of the main reasons that this knife is not ideal for an everyday knife; you cannot slice well with it. But, the traditional Japanese Samurai swords could make excellent slicing motions. The tanto shape will also be able to slice a little bit, but you shouldn’t rely on this knife to do your slicing tasks. Because there are two bevels to the tanto blade shape, sharpening this knife can be a little bit tricky at first. However, once you get the hang of it, sharpening this knife is fairly easy. The edge is a straight, plain edge, so you can actually sharpen this knife with a stone. While this knife is not going to be able to serve your every need, it has the strongest tip out of all the blade shapes. This blade shape does what it is designed to do, and it does that well.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of solid titanium. Titanium has some definite benefits to it. One of these is that titanium has the best corrosion resistance out of any metal. Titanium is a lightweight metal, but it is actually extremely strong. Titanium is heavier than aluminum, but much stronger, so the extra weight is worth the exponential strength that you get. However, because it is stronger, it is more expensive to machine. Titanium has a unique quality to it, where it feels warm to touch. While aluminum would bite into your hand during the winter, titanium will feel warm and won’t hurt your hand in cold environments. Titanium is a slippery material, so to add texture, Hoback knives has etched two deep grooves going down the length of the handle. Another bummer about titanium is that it is prone to scratches. To combat the ease of scratching, Hoback knives has anodized the handle. Not only does the anodization process result in a stronger and more durable material, it also adds color to the titanium. This version of the Kwaiback knife, the anodization process has made the metal into a bronze handle. The Kwaiback has a unique handle shape, it is very rectangular with an angle at the butt of the handle. There is a deep finger groove on the handle towards the blade. Even though the handle is very rectangular, it is comfortable to use, even for long periods of time.

Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife
Hoback Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper Knife

The Pocket Clip:

This knife has been outfitted with a pocket clip. The pocket clip is titanium and anodized bronze to match the rest of the handle. This pocket clip can be carried on either the left or right hand, but it has only been drilled to carry the knife tip up.

 

The Extras:

This version of the Kwaiback features pivot thrust bearings, a Hoback Roller Detent, a stainless steel lock insert with over travel protection and cold formed bearing races.

 

The Mechanism:

This knife is a mid-level flipper. The flipper was added to the knife market in the mid 1990’s. This opening mechanism is quick, easy to use, and is a very low maintenance way of opening the knife—even one handedly. The flipper is normally located on the spine of the knife as part of the blade. You deploy the blade by using your index finger to pull back on it. Having the flipper mechanism has a few advantages, one is that you get to keep your hands at a safe distance from the blade. Another advantage is that you get an added finger guard once the blade is opened. The flipper will usually swing around and end up underneath the knife to offer protection from accidents. Many people prefer the flipper mechanism because of how it keeps your fingers safe. The flipper is similar to the thumb stud opening mechanism, except it is safer. If you are a worrier, the flipper mechanism is probably closer to your tune.

 

The Specs:

The overall length of this blade is 3.75 inches long. The blade has a thickness of .1875 inches. The overall length of this knife is 9 inches long with a closed length of 5.25 inches. This knife weighs 4.6 ounces.

 

Pros of the Kwaiback Bronze Flipper:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is a super steel.
  • The steel gives you great wear and corrosion resistance with the steel.
  • The steel keeps a fine edge for long periods of time.
  • This steel is strong and tough.
  • The finish is an acid stonewash which gives the steel better corrosion resistance and hides scratches really well.
  • The tanto blade shape has a strong tip that can pierce through hard and tough materials.
  • The tanto blade shape is exceptional for your tactical or survival needs.
  • Because of how strong the tip is on the tanto blade shape, you can hammer, dig, and even pry with your knife.
  • The titanium handle is extremely resistant to corrosion, more resistant than any metal.
  • The titanium handle is very strong, but doesn’t weigh the knife down.
  • Titanium actually feels warm to the touch, so using this knife in a cold environment will be just fine.
  • The handle is comfortable to hold, even for long periods of time.
  • The pocket clip is reversible, making this knife ambidextrous carry friendly.
  • The flipper mechanism keeps fingers safe and out of the way of the blade.

 

Cons of the Kwaiback Bronze Flipper:

  • The steel on the blade is one of the trickier steels to sharpen.
  • The tanto blade shape has no belly, so being able to slice with this blade is almost out of the question.
  • The tanto blade makes this knife not a good option for your everyday carry needs.
  • The tanto blade shape is not versatile.
  • Titanium does not provide you with the best grip out of the knife handle materials.
  • Titanium is prone to scratches.
  • The flipper mechanism takes a little bit of getting used to.
  • The tanto blade shape is tricky to sharpen until you get the hang out it.

 

Conclusion:

Jake Hoback loves knives. You can tell that not only through his history of making knives in his backyard, but also through the level of quality that his professional knives have. Especially with the Kwaiback. This knife has a rich history, not only is the blade inspired by the ancient Japanese Samurai’s, but Jake has modernized this knife to the point of perfection. Since the Kwaiback was such a popular knife and such a huge hit, Jake decided to revamp it and release a few new versions. One of these brand new versions is the Kwaiback Bronze Titanium Flipper.

This knife is truly a masterpiece. Jake started out with a super steel that has great edge retention and excellent corrosion resistance properties. This is a tough steel that requires very little maintenance to keep the good qualities that it has. The next step was choosing the perfect blade shape. Because the super steel has been ground into a tanto blade shape, this knife is great for tactical, survival, and fighting needs. The tip us strong enough that it won’t break, even with repeated piercing. The tip has a good amount of metal near the tip, which results in having one of the strongest tips that you will ever find on any blade. To accompany such a great blade, the handle also had to be superior. Jake chose to use titanium because it has the highest level of corrosion resistance properties out of almost any metal. This characteristic helps cut down on maintenance time as well. To combat the scratches, the titanium has been anodized to a modern bronze color. This handle is what brings modern day knives to such an ancient blade shape. The pocket clip is reversible and has also been anodized to a bronze color to match the handle. This knife has a flipper opening mechanism, which works to keep your fingers safe and out of harm’s way.

Jake has said, “4 generations of Kwaibacks and this is by far the greatest of them all! All of the newest tricks and features are on this Kwaiback. All of the strength of the first two generations, but so lightweight it will blow your mind.” Jake Hoback Knives has taken all of the favorite characteristics of the previous Kwaiback versions and combined them to make the perfect Kwaiback. This knife is a needed addition to your collection.

 

 

Hoback Knives Kwaiback Fixed Blade Knife Review

This knife is made by Jake Hoback Knives. In 1990, Jake started making knives in his back yard. He would pound out the knives on a huge chunk of steel with a framing hammer and fence post nails. His next step was working a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop with his best friend. At this point in his life, he was hooked. He loved making knives. In 2003, he started professionally making and selling knives and the company has only grown.

Jake Hoback knives has been producing the Kwaiback flipper knife, which has become a huge hit over the years. Because the Kwaiback flipper was so popular, Jake decided to use many of the same characteristics of this knife, but make it into a fixed blade. This brand new knife is sure to be a hit.

 

The Blade:

The blade on this knife is carved out of M390 steel. This type of steel is one of the newer steels around. It is manufactured by Bohler-Uddeholm and is considered a super steel. Bohler-Uddeholm uses third generation powder metal technology that has been devolved specifically for knife blades to produce a steel with fantastic corrosion resistant properties. This powder metal technology also keeps the steel very hard and gives it great wear resistance properties. Bohler-Uddeholm has added chromium, vanadium, tungsten, and molybdenum to the steel which assists the blade in getting crazy sharp and having superior edge retention abilities. Sharpening this steel is pretty difficult, so you might want to get the assistance of a sharpening professional to avoid ruining your blade. A unique aspect about M390 steel is that it has been called “MicroClean”, which means that it can be polished to a true mirror finish. This steel has been finished with a black Diamond Like Coating. The DLC is one of the hardest coatings that a knife can have. This coating reduces glares and reflections and helps to reduce wear and corrosion on the blade. The DLC is actually bonded chemically to the surface, so while most coatings have a tendency to scratch off, the DLC will last longer. Hoback Knives has actually finished this blade twice. After the DLC is added, the blade on the Kwaiback also goes through a stonewashed finishing process. This process is completed by tumbling the blade around with an abrasive material, usually small pebbles. This finish helps to hide scratches and also gives it a less reflective nature. The stonewashed finish adds a textured, or mottled, look to the blade. Because of both finishes, the resulting color is a light black, or charcoal colored blade.

 

The M390 steel has been carved into a tanto blade shape. Tanto blades have a rich history behind them; the shape is the same as the traditional Japanese short sword. But in the 80’s, Cold Steel revamped the traditional shape and popularized the new American tanto blade shape. The tanto blade shape is popular with military personnel and law enforcement groups because of the strength and ability to cut through almost anything. The thing about the tanto blade shape is that it doesn’t excel at everything, it is not an all-purpose knife, and it is not versatile. But it does one thing and it does that one thing better than any other knife shape. The tanto can stab through tough materials better than any other blade shape. The tanto blade shape was designed to be an excellent fighting knife, but the tanto is also a great option for outdoor purposes and survival situations. The tanto gets its shape from a high point with a flat grind, because of these two things, the point is incredibly strong. The shape a good amount of metal near the tip, so the point can actually absorb the impact from piercing tough materials, while other blade shapes would snap under the pressure. Because the tip is so strong, this blade shape is a suitable option if you need to pry with your blade. Because the blade is thick and the point is strong, this blade will also do well at chopping. The sharpened edge of the tanto blade shape meets the unsharpened edge at an angle, rather than the traditional curve. Because there is no curve, there is no belly, which also means slicing is going to be trickier. However, because the blade is slightly upswept, you can manage some slicing with it. Because you cannot slice, this blade is not going to be good for your everyday knife. Because there are two primary bevels to the blade, sharpening it will take time, patience, and practice. However, once you get it down, it is relatively easy. In fact, once you have it down, you can even sharpen it on a stone. People usually have a love/hate relationship with tanto blades. While they are not the traditional blade shape that can accomplish a variety of tasks; what they are good at, they excel at. If you are looking for a super strong blade that can pierce through almost anything, and would make a decent survival knife, look no further than the tanto blade.

 

The Handle:

The handle on this knife is made out of carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is a vague term that is used to refer to thin strands of carbon that have been woven tightly and then set in resin. This material is extremely strong, yet lightweight. Unfortunately, this material is also brittle. The carbon fibers are woven together in one direction, so they are crazy strong (stronger

Hoback Fixed Kwaiback
Hoback Fixed Kwaiback

than many types of steel) in that specific direction, but will start to break apart when pulled or stressed in the other directions. Carbon fiber has a tendency to break, chip, or crack when hit on sharp or hard objects. Another thing about carbon fiber is that it takes a lot of work to make, so it is on the expensive end of the spectrum. Because of the labor and cost put into carbon fiber, this material is usually saved for the higher end knives. The carbon fiber on the Kwaiback fixed blade is black. There are two deep grooves carved going down the middle of the knife to cut down on weight and add a little bit of grip. When talking about the handle on the Kwaiback fixed blade, Jake Hoback Knives has said, “The carbon fiber handle gives that touch of modern to an ancient design, while being comfortable for hard use.”

 

The Mechanism:

This version of the Kwaiback knife is a fixed blade. Fixed blades have many advantages to them. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how great a fixed blade really can be. Many people get caught up in the advantages of folding knives and the disadvantages of fixed blades. But both styles of knives have their own advantages and their own set of disadvantages. So let’s start with the negative. Fixed blades are not as discreet or easy to conceal as a folding knife, it’s possible, but you can’t just shove it in your pocket. But, a fixed blade is a stronger knife that is more durable. There is not a plethora of moving parts that can rust, break, or stop working. And since fixed blades are usually thicker and longer, they have more power behind them; more strength behind them. Fixed blades are also much easier to maintain, because there are no innards that are open to getting dirty or wet. For the quick clean, all you have to do is wipe down the blade/handle. When you want to really clean your knife, all you have to do is oil the blade. Fixed blades are also the best for survival tools. Because they have so much strength and durability behind them, they can cut, dig, hammer, and even pry. Fixed blades are also great for using as a tactical tool, because you can get it out and into action quicker than a folding knife.

 

The Sheath:

The Kwaiback fixed blade comes with a black kydex sheath. Kydex is a thermoplastic material that was original used to make holsters. Kydex is one of the most durable sheath materials that you are going to find. Kydex can go in many environments, including salt water, without its quality being compromised. However, many people don’t like this sheath material because it has no personality to it. Basically, it is a lump of plastic. Another bummer about kydex is that it is a loud material. When you are unsheathing your knife and replacing it, it is going to make a lot of noise. In fact, if you are trying to be discreet, this sheath is going to give you away. The last bummer about the kydex sheath is that if you are continually drawing your knife and replacing it, it will dull the edge of your blade. So while the sheath is crazy durable, you do have to weigh the cons and see if that sheath is worth it for you.

 

The Specs:

The overall length of this knife is 9.64 inches. The blade on this knife is 5 inches long with a thickness of 0.19 inches. The handle on this knife is 4.64 inches long. This knife weighs 5.7 ounces, without the sheath.

 

Pro of the Kwaiback Fixed Blade:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is a super steel.
  • The steel is very hard and has great corrosion resistance properties.
  • The edge retention on this steel is excellent.
  • The steel has been finished with two different finishes, so the steel is more durable, more resistant to rust and wear, and the stonewash finish hides scratches.
  • The blade has a tanto shape, which is absolutely exceptional for piercing through hard materials.
  • The tanto shape is also great for tactical and survival purposes.
  • The carbon fiber handle is super strong.
  • The fixed blade is exceptionally strong.
  • The fixed blade gives it the ability to do tasks such as digging and cutting.
  • The fixed blade is easy to maintain.
  • The fixed blade is not likely to break, because there are no little parts that can break or stop working.
  • The kydex sheath is durable and strong.

 

Cons of the Kwaiback Fixed Blade:

  • The steel chosen for the blade is hard to sharpen.
  • Fixed blades are larger than folding knives, so they are harder to have with you at all times.
  • Kydex sheaths have the tendency to dull your blade edge over time.

 

Conclusion:

Jake Hoback, of Jake Hoback Knives, has loved making knives since 1990, when he would make knives in his backyard. He eventually got a summer job at his dad’s blacksmith shop and was immediately hooked. He started making and producing knives professionally in the early 2000’s and we are so glad that he did. Jake has produced a variety of exceptional knives that are loved in the knife community. One of those knives was the Kwaiback flipper, that had such a following, Jake decided to produce a new version but this time, a fixed blade.

To perfect this fixed blade, he started with a super steel that has great edge retention and fantastic corrosion and wear resistance. This steel is tough and strong. Next, he carved the super steel into a tanto blade shape, which is the perfect option for survival and tactical knives. This is a strong blade shape that is going to be able to pierce through almost any hard material. To add a little bit of modern to the traditional blade shape, the handle is made out of carbon fiber. As a cherry on top, the Kwaiback fixed blade comes with a kydex sheath. This new knife is going to become your new favorite if you give it the chance.